Genealogy Blog

A blog about genealogy in Denmark

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In 1803 new laws about poor funds were passed in Denmark. Per the law about paupers in rural areas of Denmark, each parish minister had to record many details about the paupers in his district. The support was granted after evaluations at quarterly meetings in the pauper commission, so you can follow the development of your poor ancestor's situation in these records.


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The Copenhagen Overpræsidium was the top government level for Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. It is sometimes simply referred to as Overpræsidiet. The function of the head of Overpræsidiet resembled that of the senior county officials in the rest of Denmark. Overpræsidiet handled many family law cases. The entry to these cases are journals. In this post I list the case types found in the different journals from Overpræsidiet.


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Hjalmar Sigvard Alexander Nygaard was an archivist at the Regional Archive in Viborg. While he was there, he created index cards for inhabitants of Jutland who had special names, encountered by Nygaard in church records, census records, cadasters, applications for government offices etc. The file contains about 425000 index cards and they have all been indexed.


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Masters of various trades and crafts have formed membership associations for centuries. If your ancestor was a craftsman, he was most likely a member of an association for his craft. In the late 1800s, membership of gymnastics associations became increasingly popular, at least in the cities. Membership records can reveal more details about your ancestor.


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One of the tasks of Danish authorities such as the hundred bailiff and the senior county official was to foresee that the law was followed, so you can find many cases resulting in fines or even imprisonment in their holdings. In this post I give an example of an unwed mother who risked four days in prison for stating a wrong name when asked who the father of her illegitimate child was.


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Danish local government in the form of municipalities have administered poor funds since 1842. The kinds of kept records differ from place to place. Today I will give an example of a boy who was placed at a children's home at age 7 and stayed there until he had turned 14.


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Denmark has always had a large public administration, so the authorities were involved in many types of cases. To keep track of the documentation, each authority kept a journal of meetings and letters for each case. In this post I will show an example of a journal entry for a paternity case.


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For most areas of Denmark proper, cadastral maps from about year 1810 have been kept and the names of tenants were recorded for each lot in these historical Danish cadastral maps. A lot often consisted of several separate pieces of land. In this post I demonstrate how to make sure that you have located all parts of your ancestor's lot in a cadastral map.


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It is always fun to see historical maps of the places our ancestors lived. Many historical maps of Denmark have been digitized and can be accessed online free of charge. In this post I will demonstrate how you find a map of the parish your Danish ancestors lived in.


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An immigrant was also an emigrant, so remember to look for clues about your ancestor from Denmark in the Danish emigration archives.